Tips for how and when to use paid social media advertising

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William Horsnell joined Jessica Kingsley Publishers in April 2016 and is the marketing executive responsible for their Education, Special Education, Early Years and Adoption and Fostering lists.  He takes a particular interest in digital marketing and finding new ways to make campaigns more innovative. Here, he discusses the use of paid social media advertising.

Any book of ours at Jessica Kingsley Publishers will always be treated with paid social media advertising as it is a fundamental tool for targeting key customer demographics. But it is the different ways in which you use paid advertising on social media, and when to do so, that really makes the difference when it comes to converting sales. Below are two good tips I’ve learned along the way as a marketing executive:

1) Capitalise on good news coverage and high-profile reviews

If a book happens to be endorsed by someone well-known or famous, or advocated in a mainstream news article or TV report, it is good to reproduce this content on your own social media channels and put money behind it. This is a simple but clever way of promoting a book that has as much to do with the basic principle of good PR as it does paid advertising. After all, people are lot more persuaded when they hear a respected third-party shout about how a great a product is, rather than hearing the message from the biased makers of that product themselves.

If you then specify the demographic that receives this paid content on their newsfeeds, you are essentially integrating Advertising, PR and Marketing into one, all through social media. One good example we had recently was when a book of ours about helping people to overcome social anxiety (We’re All Mad Here) received good PR coverage on ITV’s This Morning.  We then advertised the footage on Facebook by putting money behind it, and marketed it specifically to people who have liked mental health Facebook pages.

2) Have a good idea of what’s topical at the moment

Taking pulse of current affairs and what’s popular in the news can really pay dividends if it relates to a particular book or booklist. It may not be the case that there is always something topical that relates to your books, and you certainly shouldn’t try to force anything, but when there is you need to take advantage of the unique opportunity.

I use the word unique because a trending topic tends to only present itself as an opportunity to select companies who happen to have a product relevant to that story. Unlike, say, the typical ‘back to school’ season when whole swathes of companies attempt to noisily push their products, the field will be much clearer of competition in this instance to really get through to people.

One recent example that we at JKP have picked up on is the drive by the government for schools to support the emotional needs of adopted children.  The money we have spent advertising our books on adoption for teachers through social media has been justified by the spike in demand we have seen for them through this particular platform.

These are a few things I’ve learned about advertising books on social media, but if you have any of your own suggestions I look forward to reading about them in the comments section below.

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